Chairman, Governing Council of Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri, Hon. John Fasogbon has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the education sector priority in the proposed 2016 budget.
The board chairman in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, said that President Buhari had shown to the entire world his determination to reverse usual syndrome of budgets with non-implementation by giving significant portion of the recurrent expenditure to education and increasing the capital expenditure from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion in the 2016 budget.
According to him, “For any administration that knows the importance of socio-economic development, it will take them to appropriately place education on the front burner of financial plans as education is the most strategic and most potent tool to drive socio-economic growth in any country.”
He said, “The proposed plans in the budget catering for the public primary school by feeding them and provision of free education for science, technology and education students in tertiary institutions as spelled out in the budget are also lauded efforts by the administration.
“Since education in itself raises competent future professionals to drive the various sectors of economy and ultimately this will translate to overall development for the country.
“It is a known fact that facilities in the public schools are stretched due to the increasing student population. The huge allocation to education in the 2016 budget by the Buhari-led government therefore gives Nigerian hope that more old infrastructure will be refurbished and new ones built,” he added.
Fasogbon also lauded Buhari for his inclusive programmes at making sure that the menace of unemployment in the country was brought to a zero level by employing 500,000 teachers across the country.
He, however, reminded the president about the six specialised universities that were established by the immediate past administration which includes Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State; Medical Sciences University, Otukpo, Benue State; and four federal universities of education in Kano, Ondo, Owerri and Zaria.
The politician emphasised that the development was in line with the current international trend of developing specialised universities for enhancement of professionalism for quality human capital development.
According to Fasogbon, “Federal government should make the affected universities to be functional; they should remove pulse on them as they have been put on hold for the past four months by the government.
“They should also make them to be in the same category with other existing Universities in the country for them to produce enough teachers at degree level as a way of collaborating federal government’s efforts in developing education sectors in the country,” he said.
Fasogbon also said further that “about 1.5million students were seeking for admission to the tertiary institutions in the country, in which none of the federal, state or private own universities in the country can boast of accommodating 70 per cent of these students looking for admission, but the only option for the students is to enrol in any of these specialised universities of education.”
The board chairman, however, noted that the four former colleges of education that were upgraded to universities of education were self sufficient on their own with the little resources having to run their affairs as full fledge universities.
“The universities also have both the human and other resources that can sustain them to be on their own at any point in time,” Fasogbon concluded.


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